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Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

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  • Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

    Folks... I was wondering.. It seems that this country has a lack of SKILLED workers in the Blue collar skilled fields (HVAC, Mechanics, Welding etc..) but a GLUT of college education folks with lots of debt.
    If the Govt wants to be involved in EDUCATION....when can the Govt decide they want to start moving or directing students to a skill ..rather than a college degree? Maybe as a matter of National needs rather than personal needs?
    Statistically speaking you see the stats of 1-10 jobs for College grads (I assume in their field) and 10-10 for tech school grads... and tech school grads can actually just start a business if they cant get a job because they have a skill.
    I understand that this country really values that College Degree..and had has mostly surpassed the High School Diploma as the MINIMUM Standard. So maybe we have to adjust our view point and Teachers/schools have to see kids with an aptitude or lack there of..and direct them accordingly.
    Sorry..It's early.. and I am on one cup of coffee.. so I haven't fleshed out an argument...
    P
    |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
    ..now where did I put my keys?

  • #2
    Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

    Skilled labor is damn near a guaranteed job, unless you're going into something super-specialized, like underwater welding. Someone with a generic Bachelor of Arts is a dime-a-dozen, but someone who actually knows how to weld two pieces of metal, or how to build a house, or how to work with electricity...

    Of course, even skilled laborers face difficulties in their profession, especially the particulars of being in the construction field.

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    • #3
      Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

      I have to disagree... I have a BS in Electrical Engineering with a focus on embedded software engineering. I have never lacked for work. Even in the down economy I was able to find a better job than the one I was at.

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      • #4
        Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

        A bit off topic but..... I see where your going but being younger myself I, as well as my fellow classmates, feel a strong urge to try to further my (our) education to see how far it can get us. I have not seen a single kid who is looking forwards to going straight to working in a factory after high school, nearly everyone wants the chance to go to college, myself included. I personally have a 4.0 GPA and am in the top 3% of my class, and I am looking forwards to college as a means of fulfilling my education and trying to make a difference in the world. Yes there is a demand for blue-collar workers, but I do not believe that we should follow in other European countries footsteps by sorting out our students and sending some to college while telling others they should simply end at a high school degree and seek a career in labor. What makes this country different is the fact that everyone gets a chance to attend college, through scholarships, grants, or other programs, and I feel that it should remain this way.
        Last edited by MacLeod; 12-04-2010, 12:20 PM.



        Former TG-21st
        Swift Mobile On Target

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        • #5
          Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

          To go along with draeh, if you have a nursing degree (BSN/MSN/DNP/PhD), you can work anywhere in the world. The global medical community is starved for nurses.

          However, on the reverse side of the scale, I personally know several people who have graduated from tech schools in the medical field (who are qualified as xray techs, surgical techs, OR techs, etc) and cant find jobs. I know at least two who have been hunting for jobs for over two years anywhere in the country and thats with national certifications. The market is just supersaturated with people who have graduated from those kinds of tech schools.

          I also think it entirely depends on your location as well. Maybe in PA there are a lot of blue collar jobs available (there wasnt anything available when I lived there a few years back), but go to Florida, for example. HVAC? Nope. Electrical? Not unless you're a senior journeyman or master (which requires higher education). Welding? A bit, but not that much. Blue collar jobs are just as thin as white collar jobs down there.

          But its got very little to do with the government. People go to college because its been pounded into us from birth that a college education will make you more money, that success depends on it (both personally and professionally) and that you'll hit the ceiling on your career by 25 if you dont have it. Its US. Its what we teach our children, what advertisers (like the "education connection" commercials that tell people that a college grad makes a million dollars more over their lifetime) are screaming. The government cant do much to trump dollars and rhetoric.

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          • #6
            Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

            I would say that our society has had an inflation in education. Remember when a high school diploma was the yard stick and not a bachelors degree? I would love to see the rise of trade schools again, where you can learn a trade and a get a job for it. I really want nothing to do with Biology again after high school yet I'm forced to take 3-4 classes to be a Computer Science major. Huh?

            I also think that high school graduates should be pushed into community colleges and not automatically accepted into universities. Going to community college was the best decision of my life. I got my GED done for $200 a semester, as apposed to the the many thousands it takes in a university (and this is in California with a subsidized education). Some studies have shown that the debt students today will be paying off for the rest of their life simply isn't worth it often times. I see far too many students in the university system who don't take it seriously. I would love to kick those punks back to high school.

            I'm grateful for a college education, but far too often it's such crap just to get one that it rewards those willing to deal with the bureaucratic and BS, but doesn't reward those that genuinely exceed in the skill or knowledge. Like I said the inflation of education.

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            • #7
              Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

              The problem is definitely that traditional colleges are lacking.

              The university that I am going to hosts a few entertainment-field programs, such as Recording Arts, Film, Game Design/Development. I am in their Web Design & Development program. We have, at most, 2 classes a month, and the next month we get 2 new classes. We come for around 8 hours a day (lecture & lab), and are missing a single class, in some cases, can fail that month for you. We oft learn more in 1 month than a traditional college course would have gotten multiple semesters.
              People that come here are serious, know what they want to do for a living, and are willing to come to class 40+ hours a week to graduate with a Bachelors in a little over 2 years.

              This schedule weeds out the lazy bastards, gets people used to strenuous work, and leave the program as experts in their field.
              Apply this same concept to traditional colleges, and we'd all be better off, I think.

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              • #8
                Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

                First..Ferris...You HAVE A SKILL.. You learned to do SOMETHING.. Nursing is a Skill..Sociology is not a skill...English is not a skill.. And we cannot eliminate Higher education.. Just not push it for the masses.. If all we did was put out Electical Enginners and embedded stuff.. then it would be hard to find a job doing that.. But we don't be casue the masses cannot do that.. We Ain't that Bright..
                |TG|ARMA Pathfinder
                ..now where did I put my keys?

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                • #9
                  Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

                  I am a high school drop out that also has a GED. School disagreed with me so much that I even dropped out of the GED course I was in, and got my "Good Enough Diploma" by going to my local military base and challenging the test.

                  I quit my my part-time job at a seafood restaurant and took my first full-time position as an apartment maintenance helper for $7.50 an hour. Fast forward 15 years and three employers later and I'm a highly skilled, highly paid Field Service Tech for a $300 million a year company.

                  The problem is, I don't want to do it anymore. As well as I'm paid, the extremely labor intensive position requires me to work nights, weekends, holidays, 20+ hours a day on a regular basis, and it's taking it's toll on me physically. I'm 33 years old and I've got bad knees, and a bad back. The older guys that have been doing what I do for longer walk around like they have one foot in the grave.

                  It seems however, no one wants to pay me to do anything else as I've not gotten back so much as a phone call or e-mail for positions I've applied for outside of my current skill set. They all want college degrees of various sorts, even my own employer. I've inquired of job openings in my company that would park me at a desk for 8 hours a day M-F. Everyone of them requires a Bachelor's at a minimum, and some of them, a degree in anything will do.

                  So now I've currently got 33 credits behind me in an online business program, which I have to complete because society has it in it's head that such a credential is required despite the fact that 90% of what I'm "learning" I'll forget within a few months, and will never use in the job I'm looking to get with it. Do I really need four years of English to be in sales for the equipment in which I'm already familiar to the customers I already know and have a good rapport? I mean, I've been speaking the damn language for some 30 years now.

                  TL;DR version: College is the biggest waste of time and money there is, but a necessary evil.

                  Edit: My apologies for bitching about my job when there are many out there that don't have one despite their best efforts.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

                    Originally posted by Ferris Bueller View Post
                    To go along with draeh, if you have a nursing degree (BSN/MSN/DNP/PhD), you can work anywhere in the world. The global medical community is starved for nurses.
                    This is commonly accepted as true, but isn't quite. I know a few of BSNs who graduated last spring who are still having a lot of trouble finding jobs right now. With many former experienced nurses coming out of retirement because of personal financial instability, its often cheaper or easier for hospitals to wait for an experienced RN than to hire one right out of school. Once you get that first job, though, you're absolutely right.
                    I can ADS using more than a 2x without significant stutter! This was a good patch.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

                      Eh, theres a lot of gray area though. A lot has to do with grades, etc coming out of nursing school, as well as a willingness to relocate. I, as well, know a lot of grads who spent a lot of time looking for a job, but they all seemed to have a few things in common:
                      1. They didnt bust hump in school to get grades.
                      2. They dont want to move away from the area they're living in.

                      When I graduated, I was #3 in my class. Almost a full year before graduation, I was getting (unsolicited) contract offers from hospitals all over the country. So when I graduated, had I gone straight to work instead of grad school, I would have had my pick of jobs. But therein lies the difference. I was willing to move wherever was needed and I worked my skinny pink behind off to get the grades that I got. Most of the kids I graduated with didnt put in a tenth of the effort that I did and subsequently their GPAs, competency scores, NCLEX scores, etc were lower.

                      Bottom line: if people want jobs they have to be willing to work hard. In school, on the job, whatever. Sacrifice and hard work are the name of the game.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

                        Originally posted by Harlequin View Post
                        It seems however, no one wants to pay me to do anything else as I've not gotten back so much as a phone call or e-mail for positions I've applied for outside of my current skill set. They all want college degrees of various sorts, even my own employer. I've inquired of job openings in my company that would park me at a desk for 8 hours a day M-F. Everyone of them requires a Bachelor's at a minimum, and some of them, a degree in anything will do.
                        True, a lot of HR departments instantly toss your resume if you don't have a degree. I'd say just go to the nearest diploma mill and get a garbage BA just to have a piece of paper to get past the HR filter.
                        Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                        snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                        Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                        • #13
                          Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

                          It's not just HR though it's everything. If you want to become a video game programmer you need a Bachelor's degree. It doesn't matter in what. It could be a Comm degree. It doesn't matter if you have a computer science degree (something actually related to the field). I wonder how long it'll be before McDonald's starts turning away applicants because they don't have a high school degree.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

                            I went into the military insted of the UC system.

                            I learned a trade, learned to work with worthless people and greats. I learned that 15min early is on time and on time is late. My work ethic was forged in 18hr flight line days. I came out with a sence of pride in my work.

                            When I got out I learned a new trade as the civilian version of my military career did not match my level commitment or pay. I got on as a student of a small telecom company. I used my skills and work effort from the military to better myself in the new career. Fast foward 3 years and I owned my own company and pushed the guys who trained me out of the state. At the top I was making more money than I knew what to do with. The industry colapsed in 2008 leaving me again on my own.

                            I'm back at it. New company new trade same drive and dedication. This time next year I will be self employed and my bills will be paid.

                            Now had I gone to a UC I may have done as well as I am now, maybe not. For me it's not the paper in your hand that says how smart you are it's your drive. No one can make you a good worker. No piece of paper weather from a uni or a tech school will garentee you are a **** hot employee. It's gonna take you busting your hump to learn and try.

                            Maybe I missed the point of this thread but as I sit it's the man that makes the man. Not the paper.
                            doYouEvenLuftwaffe

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                            • #15
                              Re: Directing kids toward a SKILL..and not toward "higher Education"?

                              That's also why I feel people don't have a right to a job. If you're willing to work your butt off you'll get a job. Far too many times do I see people who have a job, don't do it but feel they're entitled to it. I only wish our workforce had more bosses with a little more backbone and knew what the hell they were doing.

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